Rearing, developmental biology and host plant range of the rice skipper Pelopidas mathias (F.) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). uri icon

abstract

  • When reared in the greenhouse, the rice skipper, Pelopidas mathias (F.) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae), laid 2-3 times fewer eggs than field collected females held under the same conditions. Adult-emergence and mating/oviposition cages may have to be placed in environmental chambers with controlled temperature and photoperiod to achieve normal mating and oviposition. Rearing required a mating/oviposition-cage at least 3 m3 in volume and honey as sustenance. Eggs and larvae were held in larval rearing cages and pupae were removed and held in adult emergence cages. Maximum oviposition occurred at dawn. The total developmental period from egg to adult was 34.7 days. P. mathias demonstrated a greater oviposition preference for rice and Paspalum conjugatum Berg. than for Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd. P. mathias successfully developed to adulthood on all 24 species of Poaceae tested, exclusive of rice, but did not survive on the six species of Cyperaceae tested. Low populations of P. mathias in rice can be attributed to its low fecundity, wide host range, and equal adaptability to upland and lowland environments, thus diluting its number.

publication date

  • 1994
  • 1994